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Dec December

In Their Own Words

December 21, 1864

Sherman Recalled Surrender of Savannah

In his memoirs, Gen. Sherman recorded the following:

“[T]oward evening of December 21st we discovered, coming toward us, a tug, called the Red Legs, with a staff-officer on board, bearing letters from Colonel Dayton to myself and the admiral, reporting that the city of Savannah had been found evacuated on the morning of December 21st and was then in our possession … . General Hardee had crossed the Savannah River by a pontoon-bridge, carrying off his men and light artillery, blowing up his iron-clads and navy-yard, but leaving for us all the heavy guns, stores, cotton, railway-cars, steamboats, and an immense amount of public and private property.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Marching Through Georgia: William T. Sherman’s Personal Narrative of His March Through Georgia (New York: Arno Press, 1978), pp. 177-178.